Hackers target Mt Gox CEO, accuse company of hoarding stolen bitcoins

10 Mar 2014

Image via igor.stevanovic/Shutterstock

Hackers hijacked Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles’ Reddit account and blog to post allegations that the bankrupt bitcoin exchange is holding onto hundreds of thousands of bitcoins reported as stolen last month.

The Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange – which was one of the world’s largest – went offline last month and declared bankruptcy when 850,000 bitcoins were reported stolen.

Mt Gox management claimed a large-scale hack exploited a transaction bug to the divert the funds, which at the time equated to more than US$450m.

However, another group of hackers have since broken into the company’s accounts seeking answers on the missing cryptocurrency. Their findings – a 716MB file which includes a spreadsheet of more than 1m trades and the company’s balances in 18 currencies – were posted to Karpeles’ website.

These hackers claim this file shows that Mt Gox still holds 951,116 bitcoins and that the cyberheist is just a diversion to cover up an act of fraud by the company. However, Forbes reports that the documents released by the hackers might just be evidence of poor accountancy practices at Mt Gox.

Additionally, the blockchain – a public log of bitcoin transactions – still has not shown that the stolen bitcoins are in use.

Bitcoin cryptocurrency image by igor.stevanovic via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.